What is Cover Zero? – It’s Big-Play Time

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The QB School
Published at : 22 Jan 2021
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In today’s video, we will look at what is cover zero and how to beat it. Deshaun Watson does a great job of identifying the coverage, audibling, and beating cover zero with a big play.

I loved Deshaun Watson’s QB play on this clip. Beating cover zero is one of the hardest things a QB has to do. But once a QB understands the coverage, there are big-play opportunities all over the place.

#BigPlayTuesday #NFL #HoustonTexans

What are you going to learn today? – Cover Zero

Today you are going to learn what cover zero is. In short, cover zero means there is no deep safety of safeties, therefore, zero safeties. Zero safeties are often a pressure indicator.

Usually, cover zero is associated with significant and overload pressure from linebackers and safeties.

Why is this concept important – Cover Zero = Big Plays
Understanding cover zero is important because it can lead to big-play opportunities. Cover zero means no safety help over the top so all deep throws are one on one opportunities and that is usually an offensive advantage because the offense should know where it is going.

Where does this concept fit – Cover Zero Can Cause Havoc

You need to know what cover zero is and how to beat it to be successful because if you don’t defensive coordinators will keep calling it until you prove you can handle it and make the defense pay. Cover zero comes with significant risk for the defense.

The defense is exposed on the back end and can give up huge plays, but the defense can also cause havoc for an offense with cover zero if the offense doesn’t have answers and athleticism to beat cover zero.

Going forward – The Cover Zero Mindset

Taken together, knowing what cover zero is and how to beat it needs to be a mindset for QBs. In preparation, I always used to play every play in my mind versus cover zero.

A QB needs to have cover zero answers. Whether it is audibling or going somewhere specific with the ball., knowing your cover zero answer is critical to being able to capitalize on big-play opportunities and survive in the League.
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